Wood Coasters w/ Steel Frame

Wednesday, May 10, 2000 5:19 AM
Recently with the construction of Villan at SFO and Hurricane at MB Pavilion have brought into light a new breed of wooden rollercoasters, those built using steel as their support frames. Though I can see where it would be beneficial to turn to this construction style, as the steel would be more durable, last longer, and require little maintenance, I'm not so sure I'm ready to accept this new concept.

There is just something about a *completely* wooden coaster that is just more appealing to me. It brings a sense of nostalgia as the coaster begins to age, and more appealing to the visual aspects.

What are your thoughts about this?

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Neil
By popular vote, the official start
of the Millennium has been moved to
May 13, 2000
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Wednesday, May 10, 2000 6:07 AM
Is it really a new process? The Coney Island CYCLONE (1927) is a steel structure with a wooden track, as are several others I've experienced or read about. While there's nothing like watching the "give" of a completely wooden structure (like my experience last summer standing under Knoebel's TWISTER and watching the superstructure vibrate and sway as each train zoomed overhead) I would be hard pressed to say the CYCLONE loses anything but not having a complete wooden structure.Anyway, just thought I'd add my 2 cents...
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Wednesday, May 10, 2000 6:09 AM
Agreed, it is kind of wierd riding a steel frame. When I was down in Wildwoood, NJ, they have a ride called the great white? or something like that. It was a steel framed RC and it did not feel right at all, also, wood flexes steel does not, I do not think these rides will 'cure' as well as a fully wooden one does. Wood breaths, the frame sways, heat expands and the cold shrinks it. I actually do not call them woodies I actually refer to them as hybrids because in my eyes they are not the same thing.

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Like my girlfriend always says "I love a big woodie to ride"
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Wednesday, May 10, 2000 8:49 AM
You know, I found this really odd at first as well when I first saw that CCI on the east coast built in the last few years (name escapes me, saw it on Joyrides). After riding Villain, I can now say that I'm comfortable with the odd looking construction because the ride is completely insane and great fun. If less expensive to build means more parks get them, I'm all for it!

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Jeff
Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
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Wednesday, May 10, 2000 9:30 AM
Nagashima,

How do you explain Villian. I havent ridden it yet but people are saying how it feels just like a real woodie and has a great feel.???
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Wednesday, May 10, 2000 11:07 AM
Hey Ron G!
I am from NJ, skipping SFO to go to CP and PKI in three weeks. I have been on the "Great White" in Wildwood NJ, (CCI steel coaster). If anything, the steel ones feel more solid, have less give, and actually seem faster. This could be just me though I would like to see how others feel.

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Like my girlfriend always says "I love a big woodie to ride"
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Wednesday, May 10, 2000 11:35 AM
As FloridaFlyer pointed out, using steel supports on a "wooden" coaster is far from a new thing. Heck, even Thunderbolt at Kennywood has at least one steel I-beam (where they cut into the structure to allow the Steel Phantom to pass through)

Given that my top two "woodies" are the CI Cyclone and Villain, I get the feeling that "steel structure woodies" aren't necessarily a bad thing ;) Both those rides DEFINITELY have the "woodie feel" in spite of the "steel" construction...

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--Greg

http://www.pobox.com/~gregleg/ *** This post was edited by GregLeg on 5/10/2000. ***
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Wednesday, May 10, 2000 11:41 AM
I think my point has been slightly misconstrued here. Now I do understand that coasters like Thunderbolt and Cyclone uses steel on some of their supports, they are primarily wood. My reference is to the likes of Villan and Hurricane, where ALL of the supports are steel, and the only wood is the tracks.

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Neil
By popular vote, the official start
of the Millennium has been moved to
May 13, 2000
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Wednesday, May 10, 2000 1:17 PM
not visually appealing? villain's steel hay is AWESOME to look at!!!!
-Mike
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"MOICHANDIZING! MOICHANDIZING! MOICHANDIZING!," Yogourt from Spaceballs
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Wednesday, May 10, 2000 2:19 PM
Don't forget the Comet at Great Escape thats a woodie with steel structral supports too. I be for the steel supports too. I'm an ironworker which would mean I counld work on a woodie not just steel coasters.

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Parks hit for 2000!
PKD,BGW,Knoebles,Dorney
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Wednesday, May 10, 2000 2:22 PM
Actually, the CI Cyclone is primarily steel with some wood, not primarily wood with some steel...

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--Greg

http://www.pobox.com/~gregleg/
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Wednesday, May 10, 2000 5:50 PM
Great White! That's the one I was thinking of! Thanks!

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Jeff
Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
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Wednesday, April 25, 2001 1:38 PM
I've wondered for a while why CCI is doing this with some of their coasters, including both 2001 additions, I believe. Does anyone know the specific advantages that the steel structure has over the wooden structure? I would think it would be strength, but then wouldn't it have made sense to use steel supports on The Boss, an extremely large woodie which I'm exerts great forces? I know that the park can probably choose which structure the coaster uses (just as they can with rolling stock), but I just find the recent shift to steel supports curious.

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Mamba--One of the Tallest, Longest, Fastest Roller Coasters in the World

Adam Rentchler
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Wednesday, April 25, 2001 1:41 PM
Wood is Wood is Wood is Wood. It responds to forces much differently than metal. Hard to say what the differences are, but in all likelyhood the steel frame would be more rigid.

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Guy with mass cash that does nothign but play all summer!
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Wednesday, April 25, 2001 1:46 PM
Rentch: My understanding is that Villian in particular used a steel frame because a wooden frame would have had to be wider and since Villian is plastered right against a road, they couldnt have the wooden supports driven right into the lanes. On Boss, since it is in the middle of a ravine, there was no limiting factor to necessitate a steel frame.

And from a maintenance standpoint, a steel frame is cheaper than a wooden frame.
jeremy
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Wednesday, April 25, 2001 1:55 PM
Once I ride Villain this summer, I will be able to give my two cents!

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Coasters- a little slice of heaven
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Wednesday, April 25, 2001 2:08 PM
In my opinion, it doesn't matter if wooden track is supported by wood, steel, mounds of earth or all three! It's the type of transitions that makes a woodie, and of course, that's determined by the track.
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Wednesday, April 25, 2001 2:31 PM
Not only does the Villain look great, it rides great. It is an excellent ride and nothing should be taken away from it.
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Wednesday, April 25, 2001 2:39 PM
I think almost all wooden coasters have steel i-beams in them, look at The Racer, Beast and Son of Beast at PKI, they all have steel i-beams. but that is only over large gaps, for access roads or track when it crosses through the structure. wood coasters with steel frames dont look as fun to me, but do look a little bit scary because the steel supports are skinnier than wood. I have never ridden a wood coaster that is entirely supported by steel.
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Wednesday, April 25, 2001 3:08 PM
The list of wood coasters with steel frames is getting pretty long. The Coney Island Cyclone and the Comet at great Escape are the two senior citizens. Recent additions include MegaZeph, Great white, Villain, Silver Comet at Martin's Island, Twisted Sisters at SFKK, and Hurricane at Myrtle Beach. I think some portions of the coasters at Big Chief may also have steel frames.

CCI is now using galvanized steel for their frames which has several advantages over wood. It is lighter and less bulky to ship. It won't rot and won't need painting for 50 years or so thanks to the galvanizing. It allows almost complete shop fabrication which reduces costs, and requires less skilled labor during field construction. I also think that it can probably be assembled in much less time than wood. Steel also provides a base for the track which is more dimensionally stable. This should reduce track maintenamnce costs.

Now all they have to do is figure out how to engineer the wiggle back in. *** This post was edited by Jim Fisher on 4/25/2001. ***
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